- You have to put in the time. I believe in at least an hour a day of new writing.
- Finish what you start. Nothing unfinished will ever get published. You want to be published, right?
- You have to read. A lot. Read the type of stories you want to write (short, novels, mystery, romance, western, etc.). Read all the advice you have time for in books, magazines, on-line, especially in areas you feel are your weakest.
- Learn to edit your own writing. It’s good, especially in the beginning, to join a writing group, have critique partners, on-line or in person, and after you’ve done all you can to polish your manuscript, have a professional editor go over it for you.
- Then submit! Submit what you’ve finished drafting and editing. Submit until you run out of places to submit.
- Keep your eye on the goals of writing, finishing the first draft, learning, editing and submitting. Those who follow this process almost always get published eventually. Maybe not with the first story, or the second. But sooner or later, it will happen.
Next comes the hard part. Really the hardest part for a lot of writers. Marketing. We’ll talk about that another time.
I’d love to hear from other writers who have been published. Do these steps seem right to you? Did I leave something important out?